P&Q Profile: Turner Mining Group’s Keaton Turner

By |  April 5, 2019
Headshot: Keaton Turner, Turner Mining Group


Turner Mining Group was founded in 2017 with a focus on people. As a nationwide contractor, the company has taken a fresh approach to workforce development and a different look at the contracting model in the mining industry. Today, Turner Mining Group employs over 150 miners through several different projects across the United States.

How did you get your start in the aggregate industry?

Growing up I always knew I wanted to be involved in construction. I always loved machinery and tractors and breaking things just so I could figure out how to put them back together.

After graduating from Indiana State University with a degree in construction management, I went to work full-time for my uncle’s excavation company. Working there, we performed all kinds of mass excavation projects from athletic fields to landfills, but I had the most fun working with the aggregate clients.

What is Turner Mining Group all about, and what do you think it is that makes your organization different from other industry companies?

Turner Mining Group was created to make life better in the mining industry.

How do we do that? As the trusted full-service provider, we are a positive force transforming the mining industry through dedication to our purpose, people and partners. We are the only 100 percent mine services firm in the country – meaning, we don’t build bridges, we don’t dig landfills; we are 100 percent mining. By providing a full spectrum of mine services from stripping to drilling to crushing, we are able to offer our clients turn-key packages that eliminate the need for multiple contractors all working against each other on the same site. Our mission is to eliminate headaches for our clients and make their lives easier by offering a whole new professional contractor experience.

What projects are you currently working on? How many sites are you now running?

Today, Turner Mining Group employs over 150 miners through several different projects across the United States. Photo courtesy of BuildWitt Media.

Today, Turner Mining Group employs over 150 miners through several different projects across the United States. Photo courtesy of BuildWitt Media

We are currently operating 15 active mining projects on sites spread across the United States from California to Maryland. We have employees from nearly every state performing services on large multi-year mining contracts, short term overburden stripping, contract crushing and material processing, and even large reclamation projects. Most of our clients are at the top of the producers list for cement, aggregate and specialty minerals.

You mentioned trying to make the mining industry “sexy.” How do you think you and others can achieve that goal?

When you think of the word “sexy” there is some kind of image that pops into your head. For us, we are using images of what our people actually do every day. We are catching our people at work having fun, smiling and enjoying their job, and we are blasting those pictures and videos all over social media for the whole world to see.

It’s weird. There are actually people out there that get to operate huge machines and make a great living while doing it.

Most people have no concept of what a miner’s life actually looks like so we are making our people the hero of our story and it’s been the best recruiting tool ever. We live what we preach online and we let our people’s online presence help get others interested in a life of mining. We aren’t just telling our story each day, we are showing our story through captivating images and videos that get other people’s attention who may have never been interested in mining in the past.

How is Turning Mining Group addressing the workforce issues facing the industry?

We aren’t trying to sell to the unsellable.

We know that 52-year-old “Bob’s” who have all the experience aren’t going to make up our entire workforce, it’s just impractical. We are recruiting younger, less experienced people who have a real passion for this kind of work. If a 25-year-old kid is going to spend his free time on Instagram looking at our pictures of dozers and trucks, then that tells us that he would likely have enough passion to do it every day and get paid for it. Nearly every single one of our employees came to us through social media.

We are playing where the attention is currently at and right now there is no place with more attention than Instagram. The experienced 52-year-old “Bob’s” who we are lucky enough to have on our teams are the ones that are now helping to train all of these young, passionate people and the combination has been awesome.

Busy season is almost here. What is the summer outlook for Turner Mining Group?

The outlook is very positive. It’s been busy season for us basically since our inception and we have no plans to slow down. A year ago we had less than 10 employees and we ended up hiring over 200 people by the end of 2018. We have several multi-year service contracts in place with plans to triple in total company size in 2019. The industry has been waiting for a professional service company in this space and we are happy to have some of the best people in the business on our team making us the trusted mine services contractor.


Best advice received – Surround yourself not only with the smartest people, but good human beings who are positive and enjoy life

Sports teams – I am big basketball fan so definitely Indiana Hoosiers, and my alma mater the Indiana State Sycamores. I am also a huge Indianapolis Colts fan

Hobbies – When I am not working I am either chasing my four-year-old around the basketball court or sneaking away for a round of golf or an afternoon fishing

Travel spot – Lake Tahoe, California

Summer plans – My wife and I are expecting our third baby this summer so it should be a pretty busy summer!

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